On its first Wednesday in release, THE HUNGER GAMES fell 22% to $8.1M, but just as Tuesday’s hold wasn’t quite as good as it looked, Wednesday’s wasn’t as bad. For whatever reason, Wednesdays tend to be a down day in the dynamic of a typical week, particularly for the previous weekend’s new opening. Last week 21 Jump Street fell 25% on Wednesday, and yesterday the other pictures in the Top 10 declined 8-23%. So a 22% drop, while not great, isn’t something to be overly concerned about.
Comparisons to other mega-movie Wednesdays is tricky because even beyond the Spring vs. Summer/Christmas issue that afflicts any Hunger Games comparison (and on Wednesdays, there’s also the start of the long Thanksgiving weekend), many major movies have their openings on Wednesdays. So while Hunger Games had only the 84th highest Wednesday of all time, the vast majority of those have to be cleared away for any meaningful comparison. The result is a somewhat tortured definition, but among non-summer, non-holiday, non opening Wednesdays, Hunger Games had the 4th highest in history, behind only Toy Story 3 with $13.5M,, The Passion of the Christ with $8.4M, and Spider-Man with $8.3M.
In terms of movies with similarly massive opening weekends, The Dark Knight fell 11% on its first Wednesday, while the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 declined 20% and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest fell 10%–all of those, of course, in July. (The Deathly Hallows Part 1 and the recent Twilights opened on Wednesdays and/or just before Thanksgiving, so comparisons are less worthwhile.)